Stardom 5STAR Grand Prix N6
September 8, 2019. We’re in Tokyo, Japan at Shin-Kiba 1st Ring. I’m again skipping the non-tournament stuff to speed my way through. Only three weeks behind at this point!
Avary  vs. Saki Kashima 
Avary is looking increasingly unhinged but has a plan for today. If the plan is to have an utterly terrible match then it’s job done. They have no chemistry and make several blundering mistakes based on a lack of communications. Some of the more obvious pre-planned spots are much better and the match does improve after a dire first half. Avary wins with a DDT. I don’t think Avary will look back on her first Stardom win with much fondness.
Final Rating: *1/4
Hana Kimura  vs. AZM 
AZM is fired up here but Hana is keen to show, from the off, that she feels AZM is beneath her. She’s very deliberate in shrugging off moves and dodging anything else.
It’s a dominant performance from Hana, who’s positioned herself as a tournament favourite. Often in this tournament she’s fought from underneath but the roles are switched for the much younger AZM. The turning point is when AZM catches Hana in a submission, Octopus style, and Kimura can’t wrestle out of it and resorts, even after standing it up, to a rope break. AZM gets caught in Hana’s Octopus but gets out very quickly. It’s a notable double moment of the tide being turned. While Hana is still very confident she probably shouldn’t be. She looks tired and AZM catches her in a roll up for the win after used her speed throughout to keep Hana unbalanced.
Final Rating: ***
AZM presents a report on her findings so far, calling all the grannies “old and tired” before referring to her two remaining opponents as “crappy old hags”. These fucking 16 year olds man. So much attitude.
Jungle Kyona  vs. Kagetsu 
Both blocks are tight but this is yet another example, after the last match, of a logjam appearing on 6 points if Jungle wins. And there are two more matches to come tonight with the exact same 4 pts vs. 6 pts set up. Kagetsu targets the arm and we get a basic limb match. The targeted abuse is accurate and the springboard double stomp on the arm is particularly effective. I’m a little sad the arm stuff doesn’t go anywhere but the sprint they erupt into afterwards contains a lot of very good high speed impactful moves. Kagetsu in particular looks fired up and Jungle takes great bumps for her. They do a sensational sequence where Jungle ducks the poison mist and Kyona finishes with a brutal looking Musclebuster. Like, can someone check that Kagetsu isn’t dead levels of brutal looking. If they’d not meandered around the arm stuff at the start this had a shot at being the best match in the tournament.
Final Rating: ***3/4
Hazuki  vs. Mayu Iwatani 
Both cut awful pre-match promos. Hazuki has nothing to say. Mayu is confused as to how many points she has. It’s a good job they’re both excellent wrestlers. Mayu is the master of taking bumps in this company to the point where I worry about her neck. Hazuki is very quick but also intelligent with it and she targets Mayu’s bad knee, which has become a theme of her tournament. Hazuki doesn’t focus on making it a leg match, which is smart and alternates her abuse to ensure Mayu can’t get started.
Iwatani eventually finds a way back into the match via superkick but misses a moonsault and Hazuki gets La Magistral for the pin. Very solid match with Mayu looking great at both selling and her spurts offence.
Final Rating: ***1/2
Andras Miyagi  vs. Arisa Hoshiki 
This is sluggish with Miyagi determining the slow pace in order to get heat, which doesn’t happen. As “Andras” Miyagi the former Cassandra has really struggled to get over in Stardom. She’s better placed either as a strong character in a multi-man tags or as an opponent in super serious long main events. This is not a good setting for her and her match quality has reflected that. Maybe she’s been specifically asked to play the heel role to amplify the chosen shining stars. Whatever the plan was it doesn’t work here at all. The crowd do get behind Arisa on her comebacks but the whole match is muted. Arisa plants Andras with her flying kick off the ropes and gets the pin. An incredibly anticlimactic main event that never got going.
Final Rating: *3/4
A decent show highlighted by the work of those who’ve been consistently good during the tournament; AZM, Kagetsu, Mayu Iwatani and Jungle Kyona. There are still some issues stemming from a lack of depth in quality but considering what the outlook was a few years ago when the Stardom cards were very top heavy with no depth at all this is a marked improvement.